Services Provided by Offices for the Aging

People are living longer than ever before, and the number of older adults in the United States is increasing. However, being an older adult can come with challenges. These issues are especially hard when living with a chronic health condition.1

In response, the US government has created several resources for older adults to help with aging-related needs.

The Administration on Aging (AoA) is a part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. There are laws in place to protect and support older adults, and the AoA serves to uphold these. The AoA is a national program. Each state also has its own Aging Services Division dedicated to helping older adults.2-4

The agency in each state can be called a variety of things. It may be called the Department of Aging, Office for the Aging, or Aging and Adult Services, among other names. There are also regional or local groups within each state. These are called Area Agencies on Aging (AAA).3,5

Who can use state-level aging services?

The federal government funds services for a wide group of older adults. People can qualify for support as early as 60 years old. Currently, state-level services exist in all 50 US states.2,3

These services are for anyone who is in need. This need does not have to be financial. An older adult looking for transportation, nutrition counseling, home help, or any other service can connect with their state or regional aging service.4

What services are provided?

Services in each state can vary. However, there are some common types of support such as:2,4,6

Food assistance

Home meal delivery services, like those through Meals on Wheels, can be coordinated with state aging offices. Some agencies have nutrition counseling. They may also participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP helps provide financial support for buying food and groceries.

Legal and ombudsman support

Many state agencies have a long-term care ombudsman. This is a person dedicated to upholding quality of life in long-term care facilities like nursing homes. They advocate for the respectful treatment of older adults and investigate any concerns. State programs can also provide basic legal support for issues outside of long-term care locations.

Caregiver resources

Caregiver counseling or relief programs are often provided at the state level. These programs help long-term caregivers find services they need to continue supporting their aging loved one as best as possible.


Older adults can often work with their state office to schedule rides to and from necessary events. These include things like medical appointments or grocery shopping. Like any service, rides may not be completely free. However, they are often very low-cost.

In-home care and assistance

State agencies can help coordinate in-home healthcare for older adults. Outside of healthcare, there are other in-home services that can be provided. These include chore assistance and coordinating friendly visitors (usually volunteers working with the local office).

Insurance navigation and drug payment assistance

Health insurance is confusing at any age. However, as many older adults transition to Medicare, healthcare coverage can be especially tricky. State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) exist to provide counseling on insurance options. In addition, many states have pharmacy assistance programs. These help older adults pay for drugs if needed.

Housing and home maintenance support

Options are also available for funding for home repairs and support in heating or cooling the home. Many states can also help find safe housing if necessary. In some cases, public apartments may be available at low or no cost to older adults in need of a place to live.

Protective services

Suspected cases of elder abuse can be handled with state offices for the aging. Groups like Adult Protective Services and other elder abuse prevention groups work with state agencies to keep people safe. They can help investigate suspected cases of abuse and provide best next steps.

All of these services can vary state by state. Contact the specific agency in your location for more information. If you are in need of any support, regardless of finances, your state office may be able to assist.

Where can I find information on my state or local aging services?

There are many different state and local offices for the aging. However, it can be confusing to sort through information to find the best options. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a helpful list of resources by state.

In addition, has a locator tool that can be used to find support at the state, city, or zip code level. is a part of the AoA and can also be reached by phone at 1-800-677-1116 or by online chat.

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